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Notice given 9 October 2003

2203  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With reference to the Attorney-General’s announcement that the law firm Phillips Fox is to conduct a major part of the Government’s broader review of the digital agenda reform: (a) what probity requirements have been sought from Phillips Fox in respect of this review; (b) has the Government required Phillips Fox to ensure that the firm has appropriate safeguards in place to separate its business interest from that of the work on the review; if so, how; if not, why not; and (c) which government agencies or departments have Phillips Fox acting on their behalf.

2204  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—

(1) (a) How often and when does the Office of Legal Services Coordination (OLSC) liaise with agencies in respect of monitoring and co-ordinating the delivery of legal services to the Commonwealth; and (b) what promotional activity does the OLSC undertake in respect of making departments aware of Legal Services Directions (LSDs).

(2) Does the department use the panel system for outsourcing legal work; if so, (a) who is on the panel; and (b) how long have they been on the panel.

(3) Does the department retain external legal services providers to develop legislative or policy proposals; if so: (a) which providers; and (b) which proposals.

(4) (a) Which external legal services providers undertook commercial drafting work on behalf of the department in each of the past 4 years; and (b) how much did these services cost.

(5) In relation to the OLSC: (a) how many staff are employed; and (b) can a breakdown be provided of full-time and part-time staff and their level of seniority.

(6) In relation to the work of the OLSC: (a) how many complaints were received, and how many investigations of the branch were conducted in the past 12 months; and (b) what were the results of those investigations.

(7) Can a copy be provided of the contract or contracts which the department uses for outsourcing legal services, in respect of the top five firms by cost.

(8) In relation to legal service providers retained by the department, how are these providers made aware of the requirements of the LSDs.

(9) Does the OLSC promote the use of alternative dispute resolution; if so, how; if not, why not.

(10) In relation to the work of the OLSC, can details be provided about: (a) the number of training seminars provided for agencies, in respect of its work over the past 4 years; and (b) the nature and duration of the seminars.

(11) When was the report prepared by Ms Sue Tongue provided to the Minister’s office.

2208  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With reference to the third round of the Australia-United States free trade agreement negotiations from 21 July to 25 July 2003:

(1) Can the composite text capturing the view of both parties on nearly all chapters be provided.

(2) In relation to the intellectual property chapter, can the composite text following the negotiations meeting in Washington from 29 September to 1 October 2003 be provided.

(3) (a) When are the next consultations regarding the intellectual property aspects of the free trade negotiations between Australia and the United States; and (b) what, if any, are the outcomes to date.